As the curtains fall on the first weekend of the 10th Men's Rugby World Cup, the France 2023 Organising Committee stands at the helm of a thrilling and memorable start to this prestigious sporting event. With matches that have enthralled audiences across the globe, the tournament's kickoff has been nothing short of spectacular.
A Resounding Thank You to Fans
The France 2023 Organising Committee extends its heartfelt gratitude to the passionate French and international fans who breathed life into this grand spectacle. Their unwavering support and infectious enthusiasm have set the stage for what promises to be a historic tournament.
Electric Atmosphere Across Official Venues
From the magnificent stadiums to the vibrant Rugby Villages, the electric atmosphere of the tournament has been palpable. The stadiums played host to more than 220,000 spectators, all eager to witness the magic of rugby in its finest form during the first eight matches. In the Rugby Villages, over 140,000 enthusiasts gathered to witness the opening clash between France and New Zealand. These moments of unbridled emotion and celebration have reverberated throughout the host cities.
Warm Welcome in Team Base Camps
The tournament's spirit of camaraderie extended beyond the stadiums. The Team Base Camps, serving as the homes of the qualified teams during the competition, radiated warmth and hospitality. Local supporters welcomed the players with open arms, creating an environment that encapsulated the true essence of rugby – unity and friendship.
Addressing Challenges Head-On
While the tournament witnessed moments of sheer excitement, there were also challenges that demanded swift solutions. Delays in stadium access for ticket holders in Marseille and, to a lesser extent, in Bordeaux on Saturday temporarily marred the fan experience. However, the France 2023 Organising Committee, in collaboration with local authorities, transport operators, and internal security forces, promptly implemented corrective measures. These actions bore fruit on Sunday, ensuring that all matches were played in a secure environment with seamless access to the venues, ultimately enhancing the fan experience.
A Glimpse into the Future
With the excitement of the first weekend still fresh in our memories, we eagerly await the next round of Rugby World Cup 2023 matches. The action continues on Thursday, September 14th, with a riveting Pool A match between France and Uruguay. As the tournament progresses, the world will be treated to more breathtaking moments, fierce competition, and an undying love for the sport of rugby.
The France 2023 Rugby World Cup has set the stage for a spectacle that will be etched in the annals of sporting history, and we invite fans from around the world to join us on this remarkable journey. The best is yet to come!
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]
In a dazzling display of rugby brilliance, the reigning champions, South Africa, opened their Rugby World Cup title defense with a resounding 18-3 victory over Scotland in a captivating showdown that had fans on the edge of their seats. The pulse-quickening clash took place in the enchanting city of Marseille, setting the stage for what promises to be a thrilling tournament.
A Battle of Titans
The Springboks, featuring 14 of the formidable squad that triumphed over England in the 2019 final, faced a tenacious Scottish side that refused to yield easily. The early exchanges were characterized by fierce physicality and uncompromising defense, with both teams vying for supremacy.
Libbok's Grace Under Pressure
Manie Libbok, the Springbok hero of the day, showcased nerves of steel as he calmly slotted two crucial penalties in the first half. His precise kicking would prove instrumental in the final outcome of the match. Speaking of his stunning performance, Libbok humbly remarked, "I’m just stoked that the first step went the way it did. I’m grateful for my forwards to give me the platform. I saw the space out wide so I went there. I’m pleased it came off."
Scotland's Grit and Determination
Scotland, led by their fearless coach Gregor Townsend, exhibited formidable defensive prowess in the initial stages of the game. Townsend praised his team's resilience, saying, "We defended well in the first half, we then grew into the game and the set-piece." Scotland's supporters, a vocal and passionate bunch, cheered their team on with fervor, creating an electrifying atmosphere within the stadium.
A Game-Changing Second Half
The turning point of the match arrived early in the second half when the indomitable Pieter-Steph du Toit and the lightning-fast Kurt-Lee Arendse struck with two sensational tries within three minutes. Du Toit's sheer power and Arendse's electrifying pace left the Scottish defense in disarray, turning the tide decisively in favor of the Springboks.
Libbok's Stunning Cross-Kick
Manie Libbok's crowning moment of genius came with a perfectly executed cross-kick that set up Kurt-Lee Arendse's try, effectively dashing Scotland's hopes of a comeback. The precision and vision displayed in this crucial play left spectators in awe and secured South Africa's commanding lead.
Majestic Scrum Power
The Springboks showcased their renowned scrummaging prowess, further solidifying their reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the set piece. Zander Fagerson felt the brunt of their might, penalized for a collapsed scrum, which further tilted the scales in South Africa's favor.
A Historic Victory
This victory marked the first time South Africa has won their opening match at a World Cup since 2011, a testament to their determination and ambition. The Springboks, unyielding and relentless, extended their winning streak over Scotland to eight, maintaining an impeccable record against their Scottish counterparts outside of Scotland.
A Promising Start to the Journey
As the sun bathed the Stade Vélodrome in its golden glow, Jacques Nienaber's formidable team played the long game, ultimately asserting their dominance. The triumph over Scotland for the third time at the World Cup pool phase has set the tone for a remarkable journey ahead.
In the heart of Marseille, under the gaze of passionate fans, South Africa's Rugby World Cup title defense has begun with a resounding declaration of intent. The Springboks are on a quest for a historic fourth World Cup title, and if this performance is any indication, they are poised to leave an indelible mark on the tournament. Rugby enthusiasts around the world, fasten your seatbelts—this is just the beginning of an epic saga!
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
In a momentous Rugby World Cup (RWC) opener, the Springboks are gearing up to face Scotland in Marseille this Sunday. The South African squad, led by coach Jacques Nienaber, boasts a settled lineup with Faf de Klerk, the scrumhalf maestro, earning his 50th Test cap – a remarkable milestone in his illustrious career.
De Klerk is among the eleven players who have retained their starting positions from the team's historic victory over New Zealand just two weeks ago. Coach Nienaber has made subtle adjustments to the roster for this pivotal match, set to unfold in what rugby enthusiasts have dubbed "the pool of death."
The stakes are high, with Scotland holding the fifth spot in the world rankings, the Springboks at number two, and Ireland, another contender in the same pool, holding the top position. In this fiercely competitive environment, only two teams will secure a spot in the quarter-finals, while Tonga and Romania await their challengers.
Notable changes in the Springbok lineup include Jasper Wiese taking over the No 8 position, with Duane Vermeulen moving to the bench. In the backline, Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel unite in the midfield, and the dynamic Cheslin Kolbe returns as the left-wing, replacing Makazole Mapimpi.
Injury niggles have ruled out two players, utility back Canan Moodie and lock Jean Kleyn, from contention.
The Springbok bench leans towards a six-two split in favor of the forwards. Impact players such as Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, and Duane Vermeulen have been named among the reserves. Grant Williams and Willie le Roux provide crucial backline cover.
Coach Nienaber expressed confidence in the squad's depth, emphasizing its suitability for the task at hand: "We are pleased with the squad depth we have built in the last few months, and we believe this group of players strikes the right balance to achieve the result we need against Scotland."
The anticipation for the RWC opener is palpable, with Nienaber highlighting the team's readiness and the challenge they face: "We've been working hard in the last few weeks to make sure we are as prepared as possible going into this match and we are fully aware of the challenge that awaits us."
Nienaber also lauded Faf de Klerk for reaching the 50-test cap milestone and acknowledged his pivotal role in the team's success: "Earning 50 Test caps is a massive achievement, and to mark that feat in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup makes it very special. Faf has been a key member of our team for a few years, so we are delighted for him."
Expectations are high for a closely contested battle against Scotland, with Nienaber underlining the need for the Springboks to find their rhythm swiftly, given Scotland's formidable pack and skilled backline.
The history between the two sides in recent years favors the Springboks, with victories in 2018 and 2021. However, this RWC encounter promises to be a thrilling contest.
Kick-off for the match is scheduled for 17h45 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Springbok Starting Lineup:
Springbok team to face Scotland in Marseille:
15 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 33 caps, 41 points (3t, 4c, 4pg, 2dg)
14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls) – 10 caps, 55 points (11t)
13 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 62 caps, 70 points (14t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 73 caps, 50 points (10t)
11 – Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) – 26 caps, 81 points (12t, 3c, 5pg)
10 – Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers) – 9 caps, 65 points (1t, 21c, 6pg)
9 – Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles) – 49 caps, 44 points (5t, 2c, 5pg)
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 23 caps, 5 points (1t)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 71 caps, 35 points (7t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Racing 92) – 77 caps, 50 points (10t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 67 caps, 15 points (3t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 113 caps, 25 points (5t)
3 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 63 caps, 5 points (1t)
2 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 63 caps, 85 points (17t)
1 – Steven Kitshoff (Ulster) – 76 caps, 10 points (2t)
16 – Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 62 caps, 65 points (13t)
17 – Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 21 caps, 0 points
18 – Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) – 62 caps, 5 points (1t)
19 – RG Snyman (Munster) – 28 caps, 5 points (1t)
20 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 14 caps, 0 points
21 – Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby) – 70 caps, 15 points (3t)
22 – Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks) – 5 caps, 0 points
23 – Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls) – 87 caps, 65 points (13t)
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
The Australian cricket team has unveiled its starting lineup for the highly anticipated first One Day International (ODI) match against South Africa, set to take place in Bloemfontein on Thursday, September 7. This clash promises to be an electrifying encounter, as both teams gear up for a thrilling series.
In a strategic move, the Australian tourists have opted to field two spinners in their starting eleven. Notably, the squad also includes both of their designated wicketkeepers selected for the upcoming World Cup.
All-rounder extraordinaire Mitchell Marsh has been entrusted with the captaincy role, leading the team in the absence of Pat Cummins. Marsh's recent performance in the T20I series was nothing short of spectacular, amassing an impressive total of 186 runs in just three matches, including two outstanding half-centuries and a high score of 92 not out.
The explosive opening batsman, David Warner, returns to action after a well-deserved rest during the T20I series. Warner will join forces at the top of the order with Travis Head. The crucial middle-order positions will be manned by the dual keeper-batters, Alex Carey and Josh Inglis, while Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis are expected to slot into the fourth and seventh positions, respectively.
Warner's return has led to a change in Marsh's batting plans. He expressed his willingness to take on the middle-order role, recognizing Warner as a legendary figure in one-day and white-ball cricket. Marsh emphasized this point, stating, "I expect to bat in the middle order. Things may change, but Davey is literally one of the GOATs of one-day cricket and white-ball cricket in general. We have Travis Head and Australia's best-ever all-three-format player there, so I dare say I probably won't be opening the batting."
The Australian squad is riding high on confidence after a triumphant sweep of the T20I series, securing a 3-0 victory. However, the Proteas will not be easily shaken, boasting their first-choice lineup, including Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, and Quinton de Kock.
Australia's Starting XI for the 1st ODI Against South Africa:
Mitch Marsh (c)
In addition to revealing their starting lineup, the Australian selectors have also finalized their 15-player squad for the upcoming 2023 World Cup. Notably, Nathan Ellis, Tanveer Sangha, and Aaron Hardie missed the cut. The five-time World Cup champions are poised to engage in five ODIs against South Africa, followed by an additional three against India, setting the stage for an action-packed cricketing season.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
PARIS - The Rugby World Cup 2023 is off to an eco-conscious start as New Zealand's All Blacks set an example by choosing a low-carbon travel option for their opening game against France. The team traveled from Lyon to Paris in under two hours aboard the TGV, a high-speed train, as part of France's commitment to reduce carbon emissions during the tournament.
This move towards sustainable transportation is expected to be replicated by all participating teams, with organizers planning a total of 70 train journeys. Uruguay, for instance, will take the train from Avignon to Lille before their clash with France on Thursday, September 14.
In an impressive display of environmental responsibility, 88 percent of fans attending the matches will also opt for train travel. Those arriving at train stations on match days will be greeted by a special message from France's captain and SNCF ambassador, Antoine Dupont.
At select stations, including the Gare de Lyon, a crystal box will project a hologram of Dupont, adding a touch of innovation to the experience. Giant screens around the stations will broadcast the games, ensuring that fans don't miss a moment of the action.
To accommodate the influx of spectators on match days, 35 additional trains will operate between Saint-Étienne and Lyon. This collective effort to transport teams and fans via train is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by an impressive 50 percent.
Michel Pousseau, the Tournament Director for World Rugby at RWC 2023, emphasized the goal of setting an example for sustainability within the world of rugby. "We want rugby to set an example and for low-carbon mobility to be one of the intangible legacies of this competition," he stated.
Both World Rugby and the organizing committee France 2023 are signatories to the United Nations 'Sports for Climate Action' working group. As part of their commitment to the environment, World Rugby has set a target of achieving a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.
This commitment to sustainability was factored into the development of the tournament's match schedule, ensuring optimal timing for teams and fans. Additionally, base camps were strategically chosen to minimize the carbon footprint. For example, England, with two games in Lille, has established its base camp in Le Touquet.
The majority of carbon emissions generated during a Rugby World Cup typically result from transportation, especially air travel, as teams and fans converge from all corners of the globe. With this eco-conscious approach to travel, the Rugby World Cup 2023 aims to lead the way in promoting responsible environmental practices within the world of sports.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
KARACHI: Sidra Ameen stood tall with the bat, smashing a third career fifty, to help guide Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory and a 2-0 lead in the T20 International (T20I) series against the Proteas Women at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday.
The opening batter dispatched six fours and a six on her way to a 44-ball 61 as the hosts successfully chased down South Africa’s first innings total of 150/3, which featured leading contributions from openers Tazmin Brits (46) and Laura Wolvaardt (41).
Similar to the opening encounter, Pakistan won the toss and sent the visitors into bat, with Brits and Wolvaardt setting an ideal partnership worth 74 runs for the first wicket before the latter was the first to fall after looking to be the aggressor, with Nashra Sandhu (1/24) claiming the breakthrough scalp.
With the combination of a slower deck compared to the first T20I as well as disciplined bowling from the home side, Brits and all-rounder Marizanne Kapp (26) battled to keep the scoreboard ticking as they put on 37 runs for the second wicket before Brits was eventually dismissed for a 48-ball 46 to leave the Proteas 111/2 in the 17th over.
Although Kapp was dismissed just two overs later, an electric cameo from all-rounder Nadine de Klerk (21), which included 13 runs in the final over, helped South Africa reach a commendable total of 150/3 after their allotted overs.
Iqbal was Pakistan’s pick of the bowlers, ending with figures of 1/22 in her four overs.
With the bat, the hosts picked up where they left off from the first game and despite losing opener Shawaal Zulfiqar (4) early on, Pakistan took control of the contest through Ameen and former captain Bismah Maroof (27) with a 68-run stand to help propel the subcontinent outfit to 91/2 in the 13th over.
Despite both batters being sent back to the dugout in quick succession, with spinners Nonkululeko Mlaba (2/20) and Delmi Tucker (1/24) picking up the vital wickets, Pakistan refused to let their foot off the gas as Aliya Riaz (31*) and Mubeena Ali (26*) combined well to take their team over the line.
The pair put on a match-winning, 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket to seal a momentous win and secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead with five balls to spare and one match to play, which takes place on Monday, 04 September from 19h30 local time (16h30 SAST) at the same venue.
Fixtures - South Africa Tour to Pakistan 2023/24:
Monday, 04 September 2023 @ 16h30 SAST - 3rd T20I - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)
Friday, 08 September 2023 @ 12h30 SAST - 1st ODI - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)
Monday, 11 September 2023 @ 12h30 SAST - 2nd ODI - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)
Thursday, 14 September 2023 @ 12h30 SAST - 3rd ODI - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
In a scorching display of T20 firepower, Travis Head has ignited a blazing selection battle that's set to sizzle the cricketing world. The stage is set, the stakes are high, and the Australian cricket fraternity is abuzz with anticipation as the charismatic Head's explosive 91 off just 48 balls tore apart the South African bowling attack on a glorious Sunday in Durban. With his pyrotechnics, Head led the Australian side to a resounding 3-0 T20I series sweep of the Proteas.
Now, the cricketing conundrum begins: Who will seize the coveted opening slots for Australia at the upcoming one-day international World Cup in India? The competition is fierce, with the illustrious Mitch Marsh and the renowned David Warner vying for the top-order berth alongside Head.
Head's scintillating innings has undoubtedly propelled him into the spotlight, making him a front-runner in this selection showdown. Yet, Captain Marsh, who has been in sublime form and was named the player of the T20 series, is poised to throw his hat into the ring as well. It's an audition of epic proportions as Australia faces South Africa in what can only be described as a World Cup dress rehearsal.
The return of the indomitable David Warner further adds a layer of intrigue to this captivating narrative. Warner, who formed an iconic partnership with the now-retired Aaron Finch at the pinnacle of the Australian batting order, is eager to reclaim his position as the opening maestro. However, Marsh and Head's red-hot form had previously pushed Warner down the order to No.4 during Australia's clash with India in March.
Michael Di Venuto, the astute assistant coach, acknowledges the wealth of options at hand, stating, "There's lots of options for us moving forward opening the batting. If you look at the World Cup, David Warner comes back into the mix, Mitch Marsh, Travis Head. They've all got good form recently that they can all put a case forward to open the batting at the World Cup."
Warner, a stalwart of Australian cricket with 142 ODI appearances under his belt, is facing an unusual challenge to his established role. Marsh and Head's compelling cases, driven by their recent prowess with the willow, have redefined the landscape of Australia's top-order selection.
With only eight matches remaining to prepare for the ODI World Cup in India, the five encounters against South Africa, coupled with a three-match series in India, serve as the ultimate proving grounds. The absence of star batsman Steve Smith due to a wrist injury and the unavailability of paceman Mitchell Starc with a groin issue has opened doors for new talents like Marnus Labuschagne, who earned a late call-up as a potential replacement for Smith at No.4.
Australia's recent victory in the final T20 match against South Africa, secured by five wickets, was a testament to the brutal run chase orchestrated by Travis Head. His career-high score, a blistering 91 off 48 balls, left South Africa in awe. Supported by the explosive Josh Inglis (42 off 22) and the unyielding Marcus Stoinis (37 off 21 not out), Head's six sixes and eight fours in his innings were nothing short of a spectacle. A life offered by Temba Bavuma at 55 was a mere hiccup in his thunderous march.
Head, who had modest scores of 18 and 6 in the preceding T20 matches, has sounded a warning bell for South Africa ahead of the impending five-match ODI series commencing on September 7.
Earlier in the match, Australian paceman Sean Abbott emerged as the hero with career-best figures of 4-31. A stumbling South African start at 2-12 was aided by Marcus Stoinis, who scalped the wickets of Temba Bavuma (0) and debutant Matthew Breetzke (5).
While handy knocks from captain Aiden Markram (41 off 23) and Reeza Hendricks (42 off 30) steered South Africa's ship, the late fireworks were provided by Donovan Ferreira (48 off 21 balls) after a middle-order slump.
However, the spellbinding moment of the match belonged to Australian legspinner Tanveer Sangha, who, despite the midriff-stricken heroics of Hendricks, found the base of leg stump with some force but couldn't dislodge the bail. Sangha's talent, though, remained on display as he eventually ended with figures of 4-31.
A middle-order collapse of 3-6, including a double-wicket maiden from Abbott, saw South Africa plummet to 6-122. Yet, debutant Ferreira's scorching performance, featuring five sixes and one four, steered the Proteas back on course.
Abbott's four-wicket haul, which included the pivotal wicket of Markram, left an indelible mark on the match. Stoinis (2-39) and Sangha (1-39) played their parts, but Nathan Ellis (0-50) faced the brunt of South Africa's counterattack, especially when Donovan Ferreira unleashed his full force upon the Aussie bowlers.
In the world of cricket, where legends are forged and destinies are decided, the battle for Australia's opening slots has just taken center stage. The countdown to the ODI World Cup in India has begun, and the cricketing world watches with bated breath as the drama unfolds. Who will emerge as the ultimate torchbearer for Australia at the pinnacle of limited-overs cricket? The answer, my friends, lies on the horizon, awaiting a grand unveiling!
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, expressed his excitement and anticipation for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, emphasizing that this tournament marks the 200th anniversary of the sport's inception. He praised France's readiness to host the event, highlighting the widespread support from the nation and its people.
"We know that this nation will be a magnificent host, not just here in Paris but the length and breadth of a nation that loves major events and loves rugby," Sir Bill Beaumont declared, setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable celebration of rugby.
Beaumont also lauded the record number of international fans expected to attend, with approximately 600,000 supporters from around the world eagerly awaiting the best of rugby and the best of France. He highlighted the warm welcomes received by teams across various host cities, underscoring the enthusiastic support from local communities.
"The stage is set, now it’s down to the teams to perform. I think it’s fair to say that the action will be compelling, spectacular, and unpredictable," Beaumont predicted. He emphasized that Rugby World Cup 2023 would be a tournament of "firsts," welcoming Chile for the first time and three South American teams, along with Portugal making their first appearance since 2007.
In addition to celebrating the sport, Beaumont stressed the importance of projecting values, making a positive impact on society, and inspiring new players and fans. He announced the launch of the "We Are Rugby" promotion, highlighting the sport's commitment to inclusivity and respect.
Furthermore, Beaumont shared plans to ensure a sustainable and equitable global calendar, with the top three teams from each pool in this tournament earning direct qualification for Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia. He emphasized ongoing collaboration with unions and partners to create a competitive structure that allows more nations to participate in future Rugby World Cups.
Beaumont expressed gratitude to the French government, host cities, the French Rugby Federation (FFR), and the organizing committee for their contributions to this special event, concluding, "So, the stage is set, the teams are ready, France is ready, let’s get this wonderful Rugby World Cup started."
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, French Minister for Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, reflected on the exceptional year for sports in France and the significance of hosting the Rugby World Cup 2023. She noted that this tournament marked the first time France hosted the entire event on home soil, highlighting the enthusiasm and support of the French public.
Oudéa-Castéra cited impressive statistics, with 91 percent of the French population supporting the event, and 74 percent expressing a desire to follow it closely. She expressed pride in welcoming the world's top 20 teams, international dignitaries, and over 600,000 foreign visitors over the course of 51 days.
The minister emphasized the government's role in ensuring the successful organization of the tournament, including rigorous preparations for security. She detailed the deployment of 5,500 security personnel daily, rising to 7,000 on some days, as well as 5,000 private security guards in the stadiums and resources for security in the "fan zones."
Oudéa-Castéra also highlighted efforts to enhance public transportation during the tournament, including increased staffing at airports and railway stations. Special attention was given to improving accessibility and mobility, with a goal of 88 percent of spectators using trains for their journeys.
On the health front, the minister outlined plans for medical assistance at competition sites and preparations for exceptional health situations, including the possibility of a late heatwave. She acknowledged the challenges of coordinating schedules between rugby and football in World Cup stadiums, expressing appreciation for the cooperation of football organizations.
Furthermore, Oudéa-Castéra emphasized the importance of public involvement in the event, with fan zones offering entertainment and support from various ministries to promote French culture and local produce. She mentioned a social ticketing scheme benefiting healthcare workers and initiatives to involve children in the tournament's cultural aspects.
In closing, she underscored the social legacy of Rugby World Cup 2023, focusing on the government's commitment to responsible and inclusive sporting events and its impact on rugby development in France.
Alan Gilpin, Chief Executive Officer for World Rugby, expressed his amazement at the excitement building around the tournament. He emphasized the significance of this moment in rugby history, noting that anticipation for this Rugby World Cup was unprecedented.
Gilpin highlighted the addition of three South American teams and Chile's debut, along with Portugal's return after 16 years. He emphasized the global appeal of the tournament, with fans from around the world attending to support these teams.
He drew parallels to the Women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, citing it as an example of how rugby events can engage a wide audience and drive growth in the sport. Gilpin expressed confidence that this tournament would create opportunities for more people to enjoy rugby, both as spectators and participants.
Success for this tournament, according to Gilpin, would manifest as a great competition with exciting matches that leave fans with lasting memories. He emphasized the importance of the overall experience, both on and off the field, and the role it plays in making rugby more accessible and relevant to a global audience.
Jacques Rivoal, Chairman of Rugby World Cup France 2023, described the building excitement in France leading up to the opening match. He recounted the warm welcomes given to teams in various host cities, including a crowd of over 12,000 welcoming the Irish team in Tours and a guard of honor for Wales in Versailles.
Rivoal highlighted the extensive preparations made to ensure visitors have an exceptional experience in France. With 4,800 volunteers from across the country, the tournament aims to showcase the richness and diversity of France's regions. Over 80 percent of the French population will be within a two-hour journey of a match, promoting regional involvement.
He praised the collaboration between various stakeholders, including the French Ligue Nationale de Rugby, in adapting the French professional rugby calendar to accommodate the World Cup. Rivoal noted the success of the ticketing service, with 1.8 million tickets sold, and the support of 38 companies as competition partners.
The chairman stressed the tournament's legacy, including the goal of registering 100,000 women in rugby in France, promoting the sport in overseas territories and underrepresented areas, and increasing the number of women's rugby clubs. He also highlighted initiatives to address societal issues, such as health rugby sections for cancer and diabetes, inclusion, and combating discrimination.
Rivoal emphasized the role of clubs in fostering unity and positive values, highlighting their educational and civic contributions to French society. He described the federation's mission to extend its societal impact beyond sport, emphasizing inclusivity and community engagement.
In conclusion, Rivoal highlighted the intangible benefits of hosting Rugby World Cup 2023, including the ability to unite the nation and shine a spotlight on grassroots clubs' role in fostering connections and promoting values.
Florian Grill, French Rugby Federation president, underscored the tournament's legacy objectives. He outlined plans to have 100,000 registered women in rugby in France, including players, managers, coaches, and referees. Additionally, he mentioned the Campus 2023 program for apprentices, which aims to create salaried positions in French rugby and support club structures.
Grill emphasized the revitalization of rugby in various regions, including overseas territories and areas where the sport is less established. He stressed the importance of clubs and local organizations in this endeavor and highlighted the educational and societal roles they play.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has stepped up to the crease with a resounding announcement that's bound to bowl over cricket enthusiasts across the nation. In a dazzling display of synergy between sport and style, CSA has officially declared Lotto Sport as its technical partner for all national cricket teams.
Under this groundbreaking partnership, Lotto Sport has clinched the exclusive rights to craft the playing and training kits for men, women, and budding talents in the cricketing arena. But wait, there's more! The deal extends its mighty arms to the production of a range of merchandise and CSA staff apparel, ensuring that cricket fever permeates every aspect of the game.
Mark your calendars for September 7, 2023, as fans eagerly await the unveiling of the new One-Day International (ODI) kit. The Proteas Men will showcase this sartorial masterpiece as they face off against Australia in the inaugural Betway ODI at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
Picture this: a design that not only celebrates individuality but also champions the spirit of unity, all drenched in the classic Proteas green. The Protea embedded design symbolizes the deep-rooted national pride that courses through the veins of every South African.
But it's not just about aesthetics; this kit is engineered to perfection. It seamlessly blends style and performance, offering an ideal fusion of comfort and technical prowess with an ergonomic fit that allows for light and breathable mobility. To top it off, strategically placed reflective elements ensure maximum visibility in the dimmest of light conditions.
Cricket aficionados, get ready to don this iconic gear as it becomes available at leading sports retailers and prominent online outlets throughout South Africa.
CSA's Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki, beamed with enthusiasm, saying, "CSA is thrilled to join forces with Lotto Sport South Africa, a brand that exudes an unwavering passion for sports. Their designer kits will not only elevate our various cricketing properties but also amplify the game's allure."
He continued, "This partnership aligns perfectly with CSA's vision of making cricket the undisputed number one sport in South Africa. It represents our commitment to achieving this goal by associating with a global giant like Lotto Sport."
Adding his voice to this historic moment, Lotto Sport South Africa's CEO, Yusuf Dockrat, remarked, "This is a historic moment for Lotto Sport on a global scale. As a brand traditionally associated with football and tennis, what better way to make a grand entry into the world of cricket than by sponsoring both the Proteas Men and Women's teams?"
Dockrat went on to express his pride in the brand's achievements over the past five years, saying, "For half a decade, Lotto Sport has been dedicated to providing South African consumers with top-tier Italian quality sportswear and lifestyle products that seamlessly blend functionality with style. Our partnership with Cricket South Africa is a natural extension of this commitment."
In conclusion, Dockrat exclaimed, "We are bubbling with excitement about the future of South African cricket and our role in shaping it, side by side with Lotto Sport South Africa."
As the cricketing world looks on in anticipation, this new partnership promises to be an innings that will redefine the game's style and performance. Cricket and fashion aficionados alike are in for an exhilarating ride.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and THIRSTI, the natural spring water brand, are pleased to announce a three-year partnership which will extend to key properties. THIRSTI started its natural spring water production at the end of 2015, and in a relatively short time achieved market listings in all major retailers throughout South Africa. With its iconic range of still, sparkling and flavoured natural spring water, as well as their vitamin-packed sports drink ISOFIT+, the partnership is fitting for both hydration and rehydration on and off the pitch.
Proteas Men, Proteas Women, SA A, SA u19 Women, SA u19 Men, National Academy Women, National Academy Men, and Protea Women National Camps are the CSA properties set to benefit from this partnership.
With a steadfast focus on sports sponsorships spanning multiple sporting codes, THIRSTI already partner with the Springboks, the Comrades Marathon, Supersport United Football Club, The Sharks, The Bulls, Nedbank Running Club and the ABSA Cape Epic.
Commenting on the partnership, CSA Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki said:
“CSA is pleased to partner with a hydration outfit of such acclaim. THIRSTI is a compelling brand which has a strong focus on sport, and we are thrilled that they have cast their attention in our direction. This confirms cricket’s appeal as a formidable brand which continues to stand on its own. I thank THIRSTI for choosing to partner with us as we journey to position cricket as a powerful sport in South Africa. We are looking forward to a fulfilling and mutually beneficial three years.”
THIRSTI Managing Director Rob Hoatson believes that CSA has turned a corner and is steadfast in their ambition to reach new heights;
“Our love of cricket means that we have always kept our eye on the ball for such a sponsorship opportunity. When an invigorated and motivated management team approached us, we had no hesitation in partnering with an organisation that is wholeheartedly determined in ensuring that the sport is not only better than it’s ever been in our country, but is presented to the fans in a professional, passionate and patriotic manner inside and outside the boundary ropes.”
THIRSTI started production at the end of 2015 with their iconic Still and Sparkling ranges. 2019 saw the release of the ultimate sports drink, ISOFIT+, and a bold THIRSTI Flavours range was added in 2020. With its unique taste, attractive design, and a pH level of 8, THIRSTI has made massive strides in its relatively short time in the market with listings in all major retailers throughout South Africa. THIRSTI has a strong focus on event sponsorships across multiple sporting codes including rugby, football, running, cricket and mountain biking.
For more information about THIRSTI, please visit www.thirsti.co.za
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]